Black Joy, Positive Racial Identity and Storytelling


The words, "2021 Black History Month" appear underlined next to three triangles.

The act of sharing stories featuring Black characters results in positive racial identity and joy. When Black children see themselves in stories and experience storytelling tradition, they can see themselves as important and can experience a sense of belonging.

This list shares stories, tales, and a title with games and songs as well! With a focus on Black authors and artists, these titles give a chance to begin or to carry on storytelling traditions.

You can sign up for a free library card here. If you are new to our eResources, check out these tutorial videos on how to get started.

Looking for a good book, album, movie or TV show? We’re happy to recommend them to you! Use this Personalized Recommendations form to send us some information about what you like and we’ll curate a list just for you.

If you have any additional questions, you can contact a librarian through FacebookInstagram or Twitter. You can also call us at 412-622-3114 or email us at

Freedom Bird

In the antebellum South, two siblings shelter a large, mysterious, wounded bird and eventually follow it west toward freedom. You can also check out this title as eBook on OverDrive/Libby.

The Lion & the Mouse

In this wordless retelling of an Aesop fable, an adventuresome mouse proves that even small creatures are capable of great deeds by rescuing the King of the Jungle. You can also check out this title as eAudio on Hoopla or as video on Hoopla.

Nana Akua Goes To School

Zura is worried about how her classmates will react to her Ghanaian Nana’s tattoos on Grandparents Day, but Nana finds a way to show how special and meaningful they are.

Octopus Stew

What do you do when an octopus captures Grandma? Put on your superhero cape and rescue her! Two stories in one from award-winning Afro-Latino artist Eric Velasquez. The octopus Grandma is cooking has grown to titanic proportions. “¡Tenga cuidado!” Ramsey shouts. “Be careful!” But it’s too late. The octopus traps Grandma! Ramsey uses both art and intellect to free his beloved abuela.

Your Name Is a Song

Saddened by her classmates’ and teacher’s mispronunciations of her name, a girl is empowered by her discovery that names are like songs when she and her mom celebrate the musicality of African, Asian, Black-American, Latinx, and Middle Eastern names. You can also check out this title as eBook on Hoopla.